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Leaving the Army! To do Domestic Gas Engineering thoughts?

#1
Been the Army for 12 years at the half pension stage. My eldest Son is starting high school in September so i feel now is the right time to make this decision.
The Army's day to day grind is something which has taken it's toll over the years and with the tours to Afgan/Iraq along with other Detachment's means you are away from home for some time.
It's not the same Army i joined all them years ago!!!.
Any thought's?
 
#2
"It's a steady job" would be my first thought before packing it in for an uncertain future. I don't think gas fitters are in especially high demand - the building boom is over.
 
#3
EX_STAB said:
"It's a steady job" would be my first thought before packing it in for an uncertain future. I don't think gas fitters are in especially high demand - the building boom is over.
Yeah understand what your saying but just fed up with it all now!!! Nedd to start thinking abit more of the wife and kids it's them that suffer.
Just ready for a fresh start and the wife wants to kick start her career again.
Gas course i'm doing is Domestic Gas so it's fixing boilers people always need hot water and heating!!!.
Any future i think is uncertain but i think in life sometimes taking risk is whats need all round and i think ive got enough about myself and enough get up and go to make it work out.
Cheers for your thoughts mate!!! Despatcher97
 
#4
A friend of mine worked for British Gas last month and has just left and setup his own gas business in Birmingham, he is working 6 days a week as there is so much work here.

Building work maybe slow at the moment but people will be improving what they have, new boilers etc. Couple of years and lots of new houses will start to be built again and there will be a massive demand for trades people.
 
#5
Cow said:
A friend of mine worked for British Gas last month and has just left and setup his own gas business in Birmingham, he is working 6 days a week as there is so much work here.

Building work maybe slow at the moment but people will be improving what they have, new boilers etc. Couple of years and lots of new houses will start to be built again and there will be a massive demand for trades people.
Sounds positive mate one of the lads got out last year and he is picking and choosing work at the minute.
Me and the family are moving back up north back to a University Town Huddersfield and next to a University City Leeds so there is alot of student accommodation and housing.
Cheers for the post mate!!!
 
#6
despatcher97 said:
Cow said:
A friend of mine worked for British Gas last month and has just left and setup his own gas business in Birmingham, he is working 6 days a week as there is so much work here.

Building work maybe slow at the moment but people will be improving what they have, new boilers etc. Couple of years and lots of new houses will start to be built again and there will be a massive demand for trades people.
Sounds positive mate one of the lads got out last year and he is picking and choosing work at the minute.
Me and the family are moving back up north back to a University Town Huddersfield and next to a University City Leeds so there is alot of student accommodation and housing.
Cheers for the post mate!!!
And as it's law for every landlord to have a gas safety inspection/certificate every year you should be ok for work. Good luck and welcome to civdiv!

PS, might even be worth your while having a look at some local TA units, keep your hand in so to speak.
 
#7
devilish said:
despatcher97 said:
Cow said:
A friend of mine worked for British Gas last month and has just left and setup his own gas business in Birmingham, he is working 6 days a week as there is so much work here.

Building work maybe slow at the moment but people will be improving what they have, new boilers etc. Couple of years and lots of new houses will start to be built again and there will be a massive demand for trades people.
Sounds positive mate one of the lads got out last year and he is picking and choosing work at the minute.
Me and the family are moving back up north back to a University Town Huddersfield and next to a University City Leeds so there is alot of student accommodation and housing.
Cheers for the post mate!!!
And as it's law for every landlord to have a gas safety inspection/certificate every year you should be ok for work. Good luck and welcome to civdiv!

PS, might even be worth your while having a look at some local TA units, keep your hand in so to speak.
Yeah TA is one for the back burner!!! Also got a fresh clean HGV driving licence along with others like Forklift Truck and JCB licence so any thing it takes for the family!!! CivDiv here i come!!!! Cheers Despatcher97
 
#8
despatcher97 said:
EX_STAB said:
"It's a steady job" would be my first thought before packing it in for an uncertain future. I don't think gas fitters are in especially high demand - the building boom is over.
Yeah understand what your saying but just fed up with it all now!!! Nedd to start thinking abit more of the wife and kids it's them that suffer.
Just ready for a fresh start and the wife wants to kick start her career again.
Gas course i'm doing is Domestic Gas so it's fixing boilers people always need hot water and heating!!!.
Any future i think is uncertain but i think in life sometimes taking risk is whats need all round and i think ive got enough about myself and enough get up and go to make it work out.
Cheers for your thoughts mate!!! Despatcher97
Yes, don't wish to be negative but I'd say to anyone at present, forces or civvy, to stick with whatever income they've got unless the alternative is a dead cert. There's a lot of people out of work and the queue is growing daily.

Have a look at jobsite.co.uk and see what jobs are being advertised at present. There must be lots of trained gas fitters who have no building installation work any more who are in a cut throat competition with each other for any repair work that's going.

Good luck whatever you choose!
 
#9
I sold my building firm 5 years ago to retire, The hardest trade to get hold of were Gas fitters, ( not plumbers who are very different).
But saying that, CORGI has now gone and the regs are a bit different, Having a trade is handy to fall back on but if you want real mony and respect, you will have to get a job in a bank.
 
#10
There will always be a need for gas fitters.

Just try getting one to come and fix your boiler.

Better paid than drivers/warehousemen and the hours are much better.
 
#11
Hi, been lurking for some time, but wanted to reply.
With respect, you should try sites for gas- engineers.
One of which I am a member is http://www.argi-online.org.uk/community/viewforum.php?f=6
It is a site for Corgi engineers, independant, just a site like this where we chat to each other, give advice etc, but has a public area where any questions would be treated with respect.
We had a guy a couple of weeks ago,and he was actually fully trained, but wanted to go self- employed, asking for advice, and to a man, we all said, don't even think about it.
There are many agencies out there who will take your money, but not give the needed experience to become an employee, let alone self- employed.
I'm a one man band, and I'm scratching at the moment, after 30 years on my own, just getting by on little jobs, but I have no debts.
 
#12
Just to wish the best of luck, but also a bit of advice as I see it.

There are different kinds of pressure - one kind comes on a tour of active service, and another is lying awake at night while your wife, kids and big fat dog slumber on, unaware that you can't pay the mortgage this month.

Civvy Street plays a different game to front line service, but it is still 'For Keeps'.

The gas trade is regulation mad, so make absolutely sure that you have the right tickets before you take the plunge.

The other thing is that moving area and trying to make your way as a tradesman on a new patch is not the easiest thing.

There are a lot of cnuts in CivDiv so the good people, of whom there are many, tend to gather in clusters. In my world that is the pub and the rugby club but I would chuck the TA in there as well.

A huge amount of self employed 'trades' type business is done in certain pubs during the 5 till 7 afterwork drink.

It will be invaluable for you to plug into such a network, so go out looking for it and find the pub/s where they gather.

Also, get stuck in to your nearest decent sized rugby club where the same thing applies - but if you play the game you'll know that already.

If you establish yourself as a decent bloke then someone will always try and help you out with a job if they can.

Best of luck, but count your blessings very closely before you jump.
 
#13
First of all good luck for the future.

But at the moment i would stay with what you do. Finish the course and then tag a plumbing course on the end of it. I think the courses have interchangeable modules so should not be to hard to add.

I was forced to do an apprenticeship because my my parents would not sign on the line for a boy soldier. son get yourself a trade first the think about the army. That was from a army family. Qualified at 19 and bought myself a brand new VW for cash, worked hard on sites but found when i got to 30 and found my knees were fu@@ed from kneeling on concrete and crawling about in lofts. So went and joined another uniformed service.

Work in the GAS will seem plentiful at the mo but come the spring and summer work will fade away until the end of autumn and then the cold starts again.

With the economic climate at the mo i would stay put and get further qualifications..
 
#14
The 12 year point in the Army seems to be the equivalent of the mid-life crisis. I went through that bit, as well. Career not progressing, see other people getting on, tours away from the family (then it was NI, Falklands and Belize, not so much the demanding op tours of today) and missing out on seeing your kids growing up. My 12 year point came in 1983 (yes, I know, another era) but the reasons were still the same. The only reason I didn't get out then was because the job situation was so dire in civvy street. Inflation was rampant, firms were down sizing (a bit like today, really) so I ended up stick it out for another 3 years. By then, the 15 year point, I was in the pension trap with only 7 years to go for the pension. However, in those 3 years things started looking up, I was promoted twice, took on extra responsibility, kids were doing great in school (I sent my kids to boarding school when they reached 12, courtesy of the Army grants, not too bad as the longest they were away was 6 weeks at a time what with exeats and longer holidays etc.). I eventually stayed on for just under 30 years. The only reason I got out then was that we were getting a bit fed up moving every 3 years. Still, got a good job in civvy street in my late 40s mainly due to the qualifications and experience I picked up in the Army. I still look back on my days in but it becomes more and more like a different life.
IMHO the 12 year point is the best time to leave. Leave it any later and the pension trap kicks in. Not saying you won't enjoy the next 10 years but if you have made up your mind to go, then now is the time to do it.
So saying, we have just advertised in work to fill 3 posts (reception/accounts/administrator) and I have received over 350 applications at rates ranging from 7 to 9 pounds an hour so it may give you some indication of how tough it is getting on the outside.
Best of luck, whatever your decision.
 
#15
I`ve just been on my 3 day CTW at Tidworth, I was advised to transfer my trade to Civ Div, as thats what I`ve got experience in. (Logistics for me).
Hope this is of help to you, to decide what to do.
The CTW is well worth going on...
 
#16
I left the Army after 17 years and had the same thoughts mate, I did an intensive course at GasTec in Milton Keynes and qualified as a gas fitter, also I got my Corgi registration. Nobody wanted to employ me as although I held all of the qualifications, I had very little practical experience. They were only prepared to employ people that they could train (and presumably pay less). I tried British Gas but they wanted me to go through their trainee program despite me already holding the qualifications.

I decided that the only thing to do was to set up by myself so I did just that. I had moderate success but it was ******* hard graft and despite turning over a bit of money, I was ploughing most of it back into the business and surving on my savings. After 8 months, my savings dried up and after getting rolled for a £3k job (the guy just disappeared) I nearly lost my house. I then decided to get a job back on my tools as a field service engineer for a heavy plant company (I was REME VM) and now work as a Production Manager in the Rail Industry.

If you are going to do it, be prepared for lots of graft, veiled threats from established firms, shitty customers, sleepless nights and be sure that you have sufficient money put aside to pay EVERY SINGLE ******* bill and outgoing for at least 12 months to get you off the ground.

Oh yes, DO NOT use GasTec in Milton Keynes. The trainng is good and the facilities are great but the head trainer is a lying ****. He promised me a contract job through one of his mates and then after making loads of excuses, he stopped taking my calls.
 
#17
Hello all this is my 1st post.

Reading through this reminds me of a lad I'm working with (Ex QDGs) he done the Gas Boiler course you are on about. He has been in civvy st for nearly 4 yrs, he couldn't find anyone to employ him due to the lack of experience. Now he is a 'Brake press operator,' at least it is work.

I would just say, "Do not believe all that you are told!"

I left in '94 after 16yrs, as a Metalsmith in the REME
 
#18
my friend did the fast track 1 year corgi course. there is plenty of work up here near glasgow for gas engineers/fitters but most companies wont touch a newly qualified guy due to lack of experiance. after speaking to him his advice on this is to get in contact with companies in the area your looking to move to now, before you leave the army. try and get them to take you on before you get qualified. (ie the jobs there for when you come out) but don't expect great pay to begin with not for the first couple of years at least. other than that good luck with what you decide to do, and keep us posted on youre progress.
 
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